Peaches and Grapes in a Chinese Export Basket

Raphaelle Peale (1774–1825)

Object Details

  • 1813
  • Medium:
  • Oil on panel
  • Dimensions:
  • 14 1/2 X 17 1/2
  • Accession Number:
  • 2014.17
  • Artwork Credits:
  • Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Acquisition in memory of Ruth Carter Stevenson, President of the Board of Trustees, with funds provided by the Ruth Carter Stevenson Memorial and Endowment Funds

Object Description

Raphaelle Peale hailed from a family of Philadelphia artists highly regarded as skilled portraitists, including his brother Rembrandt, whose portraits of the Washingtons hang nearby. Raphaelle, however, developed an affinity for still-life painting and, despite his father’s initial disapproval, persevered and effectively established the genre in America. This is one of his earliest signed and dated paintings.

The Peale family’s experimental farm featured heated greenhouses, providing Raphaelle with the luxury of painting fruits and flowers even when they were out of season. These peaches sit in a porcelain export basket, a costly item that signaled to viewers of the day the world of prosperity brought about by scientific developments and international trade.

Educator Resources

Essential Questions

  • Why do artists create still lifes?
  • Why might an artist focus on only a small group of objects for an extended period of time?
  • How and why do artists choose specific objects for still lives?
  • How do artists create depth with objects in a painting?
  • How do still lifes stimulate the five senses?

Suggested Activities (any grade)

Set up a box with cloth and objects so the students can draw their own still life.

Location: On View
Part of: Paintings